TransPRK - Transepithelial PhotoRefractive Keratectomy

Possible Complications

Fortunately, as with all other forms of laser surgery to the eye, complications are very rare. For TransPRK, intraoperative complications are extremely rare because of the simplicity of the procedure as well as the technology available in the SCHWIND Amaris lasers, especially the Amaris 1050RS which has 7 dimensional tracking to compensate for any rapid eye movements.


After surgery, the aim is to get the corneal epithelium to regenerate as quickly as possible. Special eyedrops will be provided to aid in the healing and to prevent infection. Two types of antibiotic eyedrops will be prescribed to cover almost all types of bacteria in the world. Other eyedrops will be applied for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Patients will wear a special ultra thin bandage contact lens to promote healing and protect the cornea as well as to reduce discomfort to a minimum. Most patients take a small amount of analgesics to prevent discomfort and most patients tell us that the pain is no more than having an eye lash in the eye.

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The epithelium will heal in usually 3 to 5 days and once the epithelium is healed, the contact lens is removed to prevent mucus and bacteria from sticking onto the lens. If the corneal epithelium does not heal quickly, there is a risk of infection and scarring. During surgery, special medications are applied to prevent scarring and this has been very successful in reducing the incidence of post-operative haze formation.

Once the epithelium is healed, there is hardly any risk of complication. However, strong direct sunlight for prolong periods of time should be avoided as in some rare cases, late post-operative haze can develop. The addition of the special medication stated above has also reduced the incidence of late post-operative haze to a negligible amount.

Vision on the first day of surgery is usually good but, with the progressive healing of the surface, your vision will actually deteriorate for the first few days then, start to improve over a period of a week to a month. In most cases, by one month post-operation, your vision will be excellent.

Long-term complications like ectasia are unlikely because the cornea is left thicker than with other corneal refractive surgeries. In addition, at Jerry Tan Eye Surgery, we strengthen the cornea with accelerated cross-linking to potentially prevent the cornea from weakening after it has been reshaped.

The real strength of TransPRK is in its simplicity and coupled with rapid healing, the risk of complications is very small.

Click here to get a closer look at the Differences between TransPRK and EpiLASIK?